Nature matters to people. Big trees and small trees, glistening water, chirping birds, budding bushes, colorful flowers—these are important ingredients in a good life.
I just heard about a new nature walks group for 5-7 year olds in the Prospect Park area. Organizer Alicia Tait has experience working with children educationally at the New York Botanical Garden and at Studio Creative Play in Park Slope.
The Prospect Park Audubon Center has some fun family activities to celebrate Earth Day this Sunday.
From 1-4 PM there will be presentations by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation on responsible fishing, discover tours, lakeshore clean-up, live bird and animal encounters, recycled instrument making, and a performance and parade by Bash the Trash.
On Thursday the kids and I went to a bat-watching tour of Prospect Park led by naturalist and bat expert Paul Keim. We met at the Boathouse. The tour was for members of the Prospect Park Zoo volunteer corps (whose director is Keim's wife), but there is also a Twilight Tour on several summer Thursdays which includes not only bat-watching, but a romantic boat ride and wine and cheese for $30 a person.
We went for a short walk in Prospect Park yesterday afternoon because the boys wanted to show me a cool tree hideout they found the day before. It's a large hollow tree on a hill on the south side of the park. I won't be more specific because what use is a spy base that everyone knows about?
Even on such a brief excursion, we spotted several different kinds of birds, including a hermit thrush, grackles, northern shovelers, coots, redwing blackbirds, and of course the usual mallards, Canada geese, swans, sparrows, pigeons and starlings.
We had a busy schedule over the July 4th weekend, so we didn't make any special plans for the day itself—just lazed around at home a bit and then headed out to Prospect Park. It was a perfect summer day and the park was jam-packed with large groups of picnickers of every description barbecuing, playing games, or just hanging out.
We found a nice, shady spot on the Southwest corner of the softball fields. The kids climbed a tree, I took some pictures and tried to bird-watch a little.